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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > The Sixth Sense

MOVIE REVIEWS

THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)

Starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Donnie Wahlberg, Glenn Fitzgerald, Mischa Barton, Trevor Morgan, Bruce Norris, Peter Anthony Tambakis, Jeffrey Zubernis, Greg Wood and Angelica Torn.

Screenplay by M. Night Shyamalan.

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

Distributed by Hollywood Pictures.  107  minutes.  Rated PG-13.

The Sixth Sense

It is surprisingly rare that films that are acclaimed for having trick endings are truly startling. The Sixth Sense has a genuine mind-blower of an ending.  You're lying if you say you saw it coming -- though in hindsight it does make perfect sense.

 

The Sixth Sense is the story of a Philadelphia boy (Haley Joel Osment) who sees ghosts everywhere he goes.  Osment is truly conflicted, because his father has left him due to his weird talent.  He is so petrified that he will be abandoned by his mother (Toni Collette, completely unrecognizable from her Murielle's Wedding days), that he tries to hide what is happening from her. 

 

Bruce Willis plays a child psychiatrist who has lost faith in his talents due to a failure to help a long-ago patient. 

 

Osment is truly mesmerizing as a tortured and frightened little boy - it's hard to believe this is the same child actor who played Murphy Brown's son Avery.  Osment's huge talent brings out a restrained and very effecting performance from Willis.  It's a pleasant reminder that when he isn't being a big, dumb action hero, Bruce Willis can actually be a very good and subtle actor. 

 

The film has a terrifyingly off-center atmosphere, lulling the audience into going one way then whip smacking them back into another direction.  The city of Philadelphia seems in this film a disconcerting maze, where common everyday household items somehow seem weirdly threatening or truly horrifying. 

 

When you get down to it, beyond all the psychobabble, The Sixth Sense is essentially just an old-fashioned ghost story.  But, wow, what a ghost story!   (8/99)

 

Dave Strohler

Copyright 1999 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved. Revised: October 29, 2017.

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Copyright 1999 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved. Revised: October 29, 2017.

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